Helena Smith wrote on 6th January 2018 that “the majority (of Turkish Cypriots) abhor the idea of women wearing headscarves”, yet the picture chosen on 8th January to report on recent elections in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus Parliament depicts two women in headscarves, at a poling station. Why this attempt to misrepresent Turkish Cypriot women?
Ms. Smith also writes “Voters in parliamentary election showed their dissatisfaction with UBP party…”. This is incorrect. The UBP actually increased its MPs significantly, from 14 to 21 (out of 50 seat parliament) since the last elections in 2013. How can the Guardian get its facts so wrong?
The protection guaranteed by Turkey against growing Enosis-ideology driven aggression by supporters of the right-wing Elam Party, stoked by the Orthodox Church is the overriding priority for Turkish Cypriots. They are also disillusioned by the EU which has not kept its promises to end the unjust embargoes on the Turkish Cypriots, even though they voted overwhelmingly for the UN’s 2004 Annan Plan. The Greek Cypriot side voted overwhelmingly against the Plan, yet became full EU members. The EU is no longer seen as an honest broker, but a facilitator for the Greek Cypriots. These were the key issues driving the choices made by the North Cyprus electors, which, unfortunately, were unreported by the article.
On the basis of these errors and omissions, it is difficult to see Helena Smith’s articles as being even-handed so far as Cyprus and Turkish politics are concerned.